June is the month where we start our baby deer hunt in earnest. It is a highlight of the morning feed run to go trekking through the beautiful Jurassic age field with its granite outcrops, old oak trees and bracken patches. The deer stand at a distance watching us.
We stay in a group so as not to frighten the flighty deer and hunt up through the field into the undergrowth. Deer hide their newborns in camouflage locations to keep predators at bay, returning just couple of times a day to feed. The youngsters know to keep very quiet and still and this is their best means of defense. Only when you go too close will they jump up and run to find their Mother.
We only want to take a peep and not disturb them so we have a system of being very quiet and putting our hand up from a distance if one is seen. This way everyone can look in without scaring the fawn into bolting. Despite this Mum still seems to know we have been around and the following day they have been moved to a new hiding place leaving us searching once again.
Baby deer are called fawns or fowls depending on species. Ours are Fallow Deer and they have fawns with a singleton known as a calf. Animal Corner has a wealth of information.
The photo below is from last week and the clearest I have. It was so temping to move the bracken for a closer look but I knew that would be wrong.
This week we found a younger deer with darker markings. I’d say this one is under a week old and even more hidden by bracken making it very hard to focus the lens or move in too close, Mum was doing her job well!
By the end of the week the little one from the first photo was up and spending parts of the day out with Mum. It is not until they are all up that we will know for sure how many we had this year. Birds of prey, foxes and dogs are a constant hazard in the early weeks; we are keeping our fingers crossed for the two we have seen.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.